For those of you who somehow, inexplicably missed it… November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.
To officially participate, you sign up and commit yourself to write 50,000 words in a month’s time, that month being November. (I know… Thanks Ms. Captain Obvious.)
Personally, I’ve never participated NaNoWriMo, even though the past three years I’ve written a novel every November. I just don’t like keeping tabs or reporting in. It makes it feel like homework for me, which in turn makes me not want to write at all. I don’t want to set myself up for writer’s block. Nope, nope, nope. But if it’s your thing, and you don’t have issues with…well many, many issues(Like me. Heh.), it can be a great way to motivate yourself.
Anywho… Onward and upward to my point. I have one this time, I swear.This is not just another rambling, pointless post. I mean, it is a bit rambley, but there’s a point. (You should mark this day on your calendars. 😉 )
Some new writers use NaNoWriMo to push themselves into attempting a book for the first time. Maybe they’ve considered it for a while, or maybe they just think it’ll be something fun to participate in since a lot of their friends are doing it too. No matter the reason, some of these newbies are a bit insecure, and they seem to have a tendency to fall prey to harmful advice. And harmful advice is everywhere, I tell you… Everywhere! Example: I saw a blog post the other day telling people what a ‘real writer’ is… Basically, laying out a bunch of rules of how you can tell if you’re a ‘real’ writer or not. It said things such as: You should write every day, and if you’re not constantly writing then you’re not serious about the craft etc.and not a ‘real’ writer… Blah-blah-blah… It’s all a bunch of crap. C-R-A-P!
I’m going to tell you right here, right now in this blog post what makes someone a ‘real’ writer. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing, if you write every day, or even how pristine your prose is. Nope.
This is what makes you a legit writer: You don’t quit.
But wait, that’s so simple. Umm… Yes. Yes, it is.
A ‘real’ writer never says die. (Well…unless they’re killing off some characters. 😉 ) No matter how many times they get discouraged, how many times they feel like giving up, or actually have given up… something drives them to start writing again.
There are no parameters to that, no qualifiers or quantifiers. Even if it’s been years since they’ve written, a writer will find their way back in front of a keyboard. So, if you’re wondering if you’re a ‘real’ writer, or whatever you want to call it… Are you writing? Will you write again? If your answer is yes to either of those questions, then… YES, YOU ARE A WRITER.
Remember, no one can make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them. Writing is not a competition or a zero sum game in any stage of the process. Just because you don’t do things the way others make you feel you should, doesn’t mean you should feel less to their imagined more.
So big ole’ supportive hugs to all of you just joining the writing community, and those of you have been around for years! Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re not a writer because of some stupid rules or list. Or I guess you can’t technically stop them from telling you… Just ignore them! Yep. Ignore anyone who makes you feel bad about something that should be making you feel good. You know, like your passion for the written word.
That’s it for now. See…there was sort of a point this time. It’s not my fault if you missed it. 😉
Until next time, this is D.T. Dyllin signing off.
Ps… Something wonky is going on with WordPress at the moment. I struggled to post this at all and now all the bold and italicized things are not in the correct places…not to mention spaces and punctuation. Ugh! So sorry for the weirdness of everything! Hopefully it works itself out soon.:(